Not a subscriber?

Join 900+ readers mastering their minds and monetizing their knowledge:

Subscription received. If you don't get your confirmation email, check your spam folder. Still nothing? Email dan [at] dangoldfield [dot] com and I'll add you manually 💙
Tech fail 😑 Please try again or email dan [at] dangoldfield [dot] com and I'll subscribe you manually.




Founder, KorteX
3.5M followers top writer






"If you want practical strategies to maximize your own well-being, then create a profitable internet business around your passions, interests and curiosities – Goldfield is your guy."


i have a student who feels free and easy for a while but then falls back into a familiar mental trap.

the worst part? the only person who could be tripping him up is himself.

but this is common among mindfulness practitioners. i certainly had my fair share of this nasty “feedback loop”.

it’s as if our conditioning—the way we were trained to think and behave—has its own kind of gravity.

this student of mine is free from his old tendencies of anxiety and doubt for a while…

but then he falls right back into the black hole.

and when this happens, to him it seems as if he forgets how to practice mindfulness altogether.

nothing he does “works” to bring him relief.

he’s completely stuck…

or so he thinks.

and as if this weren’t bad enough, there’s another sinister ingredient in play—one i’ve written on before…

​the predicament of the 21st-century spiritual practitioner.​

…which is that there are so many different wisdom teachings and practices available that it’s hard to know which will get us out of our misery.

this particular student has managed to whittle his selection down to just two teachers—myself and one other.

this other teacher and i are good friends. we’ve spent a lot of time advising students together, in fact.

as we see it, we’re in perfect agreement.

but as this student sees it, there are differences in our teachings.

these perceived differences are due to another sinister trap from which none of us ever escape: language.

the trap of language

every wisdom teacher has their own way of attempting to express the inexpressible.

to this student who’s determined to find THE way to understand and practice—the ONE way that will finally lift him out of his misery—this presents a huge problem.

because as long as he looks for differences between teachings, he’ll find them.

i spend a lot of time encouraging this student to come back to simplicity; to the fundamentals.

Michael Jordan was always practising his standing shot.

Mohammed Ali was always practising his jab.

mindfulness students will do well to always practice accepting “what is” right now. this is opposite to engaging in in intellectual speculation about which specific method they should be doing.

so i got thinking: “what’s the simplest way i can express the fundamentals of mindfulness (or even “spiritual practice” as a whole) to this student?”

i came up with this...

the “spiritual practice” flowchart

right click and select "show image in new tab" to see fullscreen

it’s said the buddha addressed a large assembly of monks with an important statement:

“i teach only dissatisfaction and the end of dissatisfaction.”

the buddha spoke an ancient language called pali.

words in this language tend to have many valid translations in english.

we don’t tend to see or hear the word “dissatisfaction” much though. not even when we go deep into religious buddhist teachings.

the pali word the buddha used, “dukkha,” is more often translated to “suffering”.

but there’s a problem with that more common translation: the word “suffering” is too close to the word “pain”.

this is a problem because, relatively speaking, pain is unavoidable.

e.g. when you stub your toe it’s gonna hurt.

when you lose a beloved family member you’re going to have a natural grief response.

but whether you’re dissatisfied about these things is a choice.

dissatisfaction is an interpretive mental process which can either run or not run.

and this is fantastic news!

the flowchart explained

the easiest way to explain how this flowchart works is to walk you through it experientially.

in the first box you’re dissatisfied with something—anything.

pick a real example from your day, eg:

  • your computer crashed
  • you were stuck in traffic
  • your boss made an unreasonable demand
  • your kid did something awful at school

now you have a choice:

  1. accept it as it is
  2. wish it were different

if you picked number 1, congratulations: you’re good! in this case, unless and until you’re curious about the deeper nature of reality, you have no need for spiritual practice.

but if you’re like most people then in the moment you picked number 2.

it’s okay, you were trained to pick number 2 since before you were forming memories.

note that by the time these things occur (your computer crash, the traffic, your boss’s unreasonable demand) there’s nothing you can do to change them.

yet still you wish they were different.

you feel they should be different; that you’ve been wronged somehow; that you deserve for them to be different.

and so you move into the next box, where you continue to be dissatisfied.

most people spend their entire lives looping between this box and the previous.

wishing their circumstances were different → being dissatisfied → wishing their circumstances were different → still being dissatisfied.

this is the first feedback loop people get stuck in. and it’s miserable indeed.

of course good things happen to people too…

but it might surprise you to hear that sometimes those are dissatisfying as well!

because when something is good, you tend to want it to stay.

but it won’t.

not forever.

perhaps not for long at all.

so for those who haven’t explored genuine spiritual practice, the trap of dissatisfaction lurks everywhere.

now, if you’re wise you’ll have noticed this pattern. and it will have been your motivation for trying some kind of practice.

genuine spiritual practices are about at dissolving dissatisfaction by accepting the sensations of which it’s made.

so you wish your boss were different.

the next step on the flowchart, if you desire freedom, is to look directly at the cocktail of sensation that makes up your dissatisfaction… and accept ALL THAT as it is.

it really is just a bunch of sensations.

dissatisfaction (or suffering) is only a label you apply to those sensations.

so if you can’t let your boss be as they are…

can you at least let your feelings about your boss be as they are?

if you’re ever going to accept your boss, you’re going to have to accept your feelings about them. and these feelings won’t dissolve while you wrestle with them.

now, if you can accept your feelings here—deeply—then they dissolve and voila! you’re good!

but many practitioners get stuck in the 2nd feedback loop here.

the student of mine i mentioned at the beginning of this letter struggles here most of all.

  1. he sees his dissatisfaction…
  2. he accepts the sensations that make up that dissatisfaction…
  3. he experiences a degree of relief…
  4. he gets dissatisfied again!

the loop that appears here is commonly known as “spiritual practice”.

and if you're not okay it's the best place for you.

“but wait dan, am i supposed to let people take advantage of me?”

no, i don’t recommend letting people take advantage of you. it’s not good for them.

“accepting everything as it is” doesn’t mean you let that unreasonable boss have you working till 10pm every night.

actually, accepting your boss for the unreasonable individual they may be enables you to handle them better.

  1. in comes the unreasonable demand…
  2. you were expecting it anyway so you don’t get reactive.
  3. now you have space to act from wisdom and discernment instead of emotion.

to paraphrase the great Ram Dass:

treat people like trees.

when you go to the forest you don’t wish one tree was less crooked and another had greener leaves.

but when it comes to people,

you think they should be different.

thing is, people are just expressions of nature—the same as trees are.

you don’t have to do business with a “liar tree” or a “cheater tree”, but don’t put them out of your heart.

how to get out of the feedback loops


if you’re trapped in one of the loops i’ve illustrated you’re likely aware of it by now.

but how do you get free?

to get out of misery, simply start practising mindfulness.

here’s the basic practice i recommend:

if you don't yet have a practice, print this graphic and put it somewhere you'll see it every day.

or set it as your wallpaper.

or both.

mindfulness is largely about observing your thoughts, feelings and sensations.

when you observe them, you stop being anxious and instead notice the appearance of anxiety.

this doesn’t sound like much but believe me—it’s everything.

don’t worry if you don’t notice much difference when you begin this practice.

experiment, explore, and ask me questions on ​twitter​ or ​instagram​.


it’s time to explain why i put this phrase “spiritual practice” in quotes.

i do so because it’s nonsense, really.

it’s just a made-up label like any other.

and by giving this label to what is essentially just realizing natural wellbeing, we limit it.

see, a lot of people don’t consider themselves “spiritual”, but everything i’ve written in this letter is still about them.

it’s about everyone.

but how can that be the case?

surely we each get to opt in or out?


everyone is somewhere on that flowchart (whether they know it or not).

but categorizing is convenient for communication, so we use the term “spiritual practice”.

this includes all methods concerned with breaking that feedback loop of dissatisfaction.

mindfulness is the simplest of these.

but of course there are formal meditation techniques in their varying complexity.

but if any of these are to work they must be done with the aim of accepting each moment of your life just as it is.

good news: it’s only when you interpret or judge things that you become dissatisfied.

so ultimately all you have to do to break the cycle of dissatisfaction in any moment is stop doing anything at all.

in other words, chill out, let go, quiet down.

if dissatisfaction arises again, accept.

if it arises again, accept.

if it arises again, accept.

but this seems difficult at first…

which is why the buddha is said to have given 84,000 elaborations on that simple teaching of dissatisfaction and the end of dissatisfaction.

he said the same thing in 84,000 different ways…

all to convince people to finally chill the fuck out.

so why do you need “spiritual practice”?

i know some things seem impossible to accept.

i remember that feeling.

i spent a lot of time telling my first teacher that what he was recommending was nonsense; that it couldn’t be done.

but really, i knew he was talking the most sense i’d ever heard.

so i kept going back.

and as i did, and as i continued my practice between our sessions, i accepted more and more.

things got easier.

there was less dissatisfaction...

and less…

and less.

when i brought my many other teachers into the mix, things got really good.

and this is absolutely possible for you my friend.

🔸if you’ve found that the good feelings you enjoy in meditation fade after you finish your session…

🔸if you’ve tried different meditation techniques but can’t tell if you’re doing them correctly…

🔸if you’ve felt lost in an infinite library of competing teachings and philosophies, each claiming to hold the ultimate truth…

🔸if you’ve tried to be disciplined in your meditation practice but can’t stay consistent…

🔸if you’ve hung out in spirituality communities but they’re more of a hindrance than a help…

🔸if you’ve had ups and downs in your meditation practice but can’t figure out what makes the difference…

🔸if you’ve wished there were a single path to follow that guaranteed your lasting wellbeing…

🔸if you’ve started to feel disillusioned with worldly life, but have yet to unlock the spiritual happiness that’s supposed to fill the void…

🔸if you’ve worried that true wellbeing might be impossible for you…

“spiritual practice” will turn all this around.

if you’re just getting started, i recommend checking out my ​85 free talks and guided meditations.​

but if you want to get serious then you'll benefit from my course, MINDFUL 24/7.

it'll teach you how to establish:

🔹unshakeable confidence in a new method for making wellbeing your default mode

🔹crystal-clear clarity on the common truth to which all wisdom teachings point

🔹freedom and relief from the drudgery of discipline

🔹unwavering trust in tourself to assess and refine your practice based on evidence

🔹rock-solid courage to overcome your life’s challenges

🔹genuine, lasting happiness, free from stress, anxiety, worry or guilt

🔹the certainty of consistent peak mental performance to apply to all areas of your life

this is the beautiful destination to which “spiritual practice” leads.

if you’d like to guarantee those same results for yourself, click here.

to hear from previous students, ​click here.​

and to learn more about the course structure, ​click here.​

got questions? dm me on ​X​ or ​instagram​.

win/win for the win,
dg 💙

share this article:

Social Share

Enjoyed this post? Click here to subscribe and get the next one delivered straight to your inbox.

Previous Issues of
The Freetirement Files

How to Win on Social Media

(Escape the Rat Race)

42% of solo business owners earn over $50,000 per year. And "solopreneurs", as a group, contribute a total of $1.3 trillion to the U.S. economy annually—with zero employees. Clearly, starting an online business is no longer an unsafe bet. Here's how to build the foundation of your own...

Continue reading →

How to Create Your Ideal Future

(Without a Vision You're Lost)

‍One of society’s greatest lies is that employment is stable. And one of society’s greatest blind spots is that the same technologies which are disrupting the workforce can enable you to create your own stability (from your couch). Here's how...

Continue reading →

10 Mindful Money Megahacks

(Delete Beliefs that Keep You Poor)

I was broke till I was 36. Then finally I found a way to earn money without sacrificing my wellbeing and integrity. Here are the 10 mindset shifts that made it possible.

Continue reading →

Mindful Money-Getting In 8 Steps

(How to Make Your Work A Spiritual Practice)

If you can't earn enough money, it's because you're not spiritual enough. And please don't listen to anyone who tells you that money will disrupt your spiritual practice. Money can't do that—it's just paper and metal. But what it can do is enable great benefit in the world. Here's how...

Continue reading →

How to Stop Killing Your Better Self

(The 5 Self-Help Non-Negotiables)

It's never been easier to settle for an average life. But this makes the winnings that much greater for those who rise up. Learn the 12 problems self-helpers are trying to overcome, the 6 problems with the most extreme solution, and the 5 non-negotiables that'll finally get you to your fullest potential.

Continue reading →

How to Make Dream Clients Come to You

(Without Spending a Single Dollar On Ads)

I look forward to every coaching call I host. Once I knew how to create my dream career it took just 5 months to go from my old life of compromise, fatigue, and selling my time for money... to my new life of passion, purpose and profit. You can make this shift too.

Continue reading →

The Self-Help Cheat Code

(How to Get Actual Results)

$7.52 billion: the current valuation of the self-help publishing industry. Yet only 3% of readers apply what they learn. It's clear: the answer you're looking for is not in the next bestseller. Here's how to get out of the trap.

Continue reading →

How to Make a Living on Social Media

(The Zero-Follower Money Method)

Everyone thinks you need 100,000 followers to make money online. Bullsh!t.There are people with over a million followers making no money. And there are people with 3000 followers doing $10K months (I achieved the latter myself). Here's the quick & dirty way to make it happen.

Continue reading →

The FIRST Thing to do About Any Problem

(How to Struggle Less)

"If you want good things in life, you have to suffer for them." That's what traditional schooling and parenting taught us, anyway. But the highest achievers of the East have been doing things differently for thousands of years. Here's their secret...

Continue reading →

How to Profit From Your Problems

(In 13 Little Steps)

some people never solve their problems. most people solve their problems without thinking about how their solution could be shared with others. but in the "freetirement" economy, we can do better...

Continue reading →

How to Earn Money Helping People

(3 Steps to Your Ideal Future)

People pay me $300 per session for coaching. They pay me this much because I help them solve problems that are costing them more than that. But over the past 6 months people have started asking me to help them with a different problem: they want to know how to help people like I do (so they can quit that job they hate). Here's what I tell them...

Continue reading →

How to Stop Beating Yourself Up

(The Sustainable Way to Motivate Yourself)

You can’t force motivation. The more you try, the more it escapes you. So after 30 years trying to whip myself into shape, I experimented with going the other way. Here's how I 100X'd my motivation (without hustling).

Continue reading →

The One Question You Must Answer

(Before You Can Find True Happiness)

I contemplated this question for a whole year. But it was worth the wait, because once i had my answer, everything changed: I became happier than i ever thought possible, married the love of my life, and transitioned out of my old "time-for-money" business into my new "expertise-for-money" mission. Let me accelerate the process for you.

Continue reading →

How to "Freetire" Yourself

(Without Leaving Your Sofa)

Solopreneurs made $5 TRILLION in 2023. 0.00002% of that will make you a millionaire. Here's how to start your own internet business (with zero experience or capital).

Continue reading →

The Real Reason You Can't Stick to Anything

(Why New Year's Resolutions Don't Work)

Only 1 in 100 people will take their new year’s resolution all the way to december. ​So why does everyone keep trying? Because no-one knows about the better option. Here it is...

Continue reading →

How to Stop Working Too Hard

(And Earn MORE Money)

55% of U.S. employees failed to take all their paid time off in 2023.​ They may as well be walking to the ATM, drawing out days' worth of pay and sliding it into their employer's wallet. Don't spend the rest of your life in this trap. Here's how to wriggle out of it...

Continue reading →

How to Get the Ultimate Perspective on Yourself

(Let Go of Your Emotional Baggage)

The way you see things determines your entire reality. So of course it's pretty damn important how you see yourself. In this guided meditation i'm going to lead you through a brief study of the breath, the body, the emotions and the thoughts. Then, finally, we'll relax into the ultimate perspective on all of them, enabling you to let them go and be free.

Continue reading →

How to Take Back Control of Your Life

(In Just 3 Weeks)

1 in 2 people will develop a mental health disorder in their lifetime. You do NOT want to end up on the wrong side of that statistic. Here's a simple process for keeping yourself in control and off the psych ward.

Continue reading →

How to Get, Have, and Be Anything You Want

(Without Even Trying)

Since 2017 I've married the woman of my dreams, 5X'd my income and tripled my energy. But no-one in my own culture could've told me how to do so. I had to look elsewhere. Let me save you 7 years and give you the solution right here...

Continue reading →

5 Relationship Tips From a Guy Who Married a Psychologist


In 2016 I was needy as hell, which was quite a turnoff for the ladies. But by the time I took my wife on our first date in 2019 I was 100% self-validated. Here's what I learned in those 3 years...

Continue reading →

How to Delete The 6 Mind Viruses That Keep You Poor, Sick & Miserable

(In Just 12 Weeks)

I get up at 5, do creative work for 4-8 hours, develop new ways to help people, share my ideas, go to the gym, coach, talk to my audience and other creators, have dinner with my wife, study, read, go to bed, then get up and do it all again. 7 days a week. I’m effectively retired because I’d be doing this same routine if i were already a billionaire. But this was only possible once I did what i’m going to share with you here…

Continue reading →

How I Meditated My Way to Freetirement at 36

(Retirement Is For Losers)

Imagine i approach you right now and say i want 40 hours of your life every week for 47 years. If you make it to the end of those 47 years I’ll set you free. Any wear and tear on your body, mind and spirit is forfeit. I won’t guarantee you’ll make it to the finish line. Nor will i guarantee how long you’ll live into your freedom. Sound like a good deal? No? Ok, here's a better offer...

Continue reading →

How to Earn More Money By Relaxing

(Why Hustling Is No Longer Optimal)

The most harmful belief in work culture is that simple effort is the magic spell for earning more money. This is harmful not only because it builds up heart attack levels of stress… but because it doesn’t f¥cking work—not in the 21st century. Here's the better way to boost your income (without busting your balls)...

Continue reading →

3 Lessons on Happiness From a Senior Monk

(And How They Saved Me From Depression)

i spent the whole of my 20’s in chronic pain. and the solutions i was trying were digging me into a pit of depression. 29,366 hours of mindfulness later, things are pretty f¥cking different. Here are the 3 best lessons I learned on happiness from my ~300 hours in one-to-one conversation with a senior monk.

Continue reading →

How to Release Trauma In Meditation

(Heal Your Inner Child)

I grew up terrified of sex. But millennial British culture told me i had to get as much of it as I could (and more). So for 15 years I tried everything to get laid—for all the wrong reasons. Much later, in deep meditation, I had an encounter with my inner child that put everything right. 2 weeks later, I met the woman who would become my wife. Here's what I did to make myself ready for her.

Continue reading →

How to 48X Your Meditation in 4 Weeks

(Without Going On Retreat)

The average meditator aims for 15 mindful minutes per day. So what about the other 945? If you really want true happiness, you're going to have to learn to be present in EVERY moment. Good news: this isn't as hard as it sounds. Let me explain...

Continue reading →

10 Mindfulness Success Stories

(For The Doubters & Procrastinators)

If mindfulness feels like a chore you're doing it wrong. You need proper motivation. And nothing is better motivation than a good success story. So here's 10...

Continue reading →

Here's Why You Need "Spiritual Practice"

(It's Simpler Than You Think)

I have a student who feels free and easy for a while but then falls back into a familiar mental trap. If this sounds like you, we need to make sure you're clear on what spiritual practice is, what it can do for you, and how to proceed with it (so you're not just going round in circles).

Continue reading →

1 Step to Instant Enlightenment

(The Direct Path to Effortless Wellbeing)

You don't have to meditate for years. You don't have to develop wholesome qualities. You don't have to contemplate the nature of reality. All you have to do is recognize what's already true. Here's how...

Continue reading →

Do This When You're Stuck In Life Or Business

(7 Steps to Finding Your Perfect Mentor)

Without the guidance i’ve received throughout my life i’d be a drunk, broke, fat, lazy mess. Intelligent co-operation is the unique edge of our species, and nowhere is this more obvious than in our ability to learn from one another. if you’ve never had a mentor, you're WAY behind where you could be in life. But it’s not too late. Here's how to get the guidance you need, step-by-step...

Continue reading →

How to Perform Like The Top .1%

(Without Beating Yourself Up)

Millions of people squeeze a 20-minute meditation into their morning routine, then hope it’ll sustain their performance throughout the day. They may as well believe in magic. Here's how to GUARANTEE consistent peak performance (without hustling yourself into burnout).

Continue reading →

3 Steps to Realize Ultimate Wellbeing

(The Simplest Way to Ditch Your Emotional Baggage)

Most people overcomplicate spiritual awakening. But in the 21st century, we're finally able to cross-reference wisdom from different cultures, ditch the baggage, apply modern science and get down to what really works. Follow these 3 steps to cut the cr^p and ditch your anxiety, depression and self-hatred for good.

Continue reading →

The Biggest Challenge In My Spiritual Journey

(Save a Year by Skipping This)

If you've ever been confused about which spiritual practice to commit to, you're not alone. I spent a whole f¥cking YEAR looping on this. But the solution was right under my nose the whole time. Let me give it to you right now (and save you a lot of headaches)...

Continue reading →

How to Make Friends & Enjoy Win/Win Arrangements

(Without Even Trying)

Everything great that humans have achieved has been achieved by teamwork. Unfortunately, many people struggle to unlock their true friend-making potential because of insecurity, doubt and anxiety. Here's a simple 3-step process you can use to delete your fears and start getting all the benefits of collaboration.

Continue reading →

How to Stop Wasting Your Time In Meditation

(7 Insights to Save You 1000 Hours of Practice)

Over 8 years, I spent 29,366 hours experimenting with every mindfulness technique available. I checked my results with a senior monk and a neuropsychologist. Want to know a secret? Meditation isn’t necessary. Contemplate these 7 insights. If you understand them, you can save yourself a lot of time.

Continue reading →

How to Avoid The #1 Cause of Stress

(3 Steps to Avoid Early Death)

A 2012 study by NHS Scotland found that "psychological distress is associated with increased risk of mortality from several major causes." It's proven: stress is literally a matter of life or death. Here's how to get out of the trap (and stay out).

Continue reading →

How to Get What You Want In Life

(3 Steps to Stop Feeling Lost)

Unless you know what you want, it’s impossible to get it. Sounds obvious, but you’d be amazed how many of my 1,000+ one-to-one students have been confused on this subject. Here's how to find your north star and get on the road to a life of wealth, freedom, love and inspiration.

Continue reading →

How To Attract Your Perfect Life-Partner

(Avoid the #1 Killer of Attraction)

A strong romantic partnership is the ultimate team. Sadly, most people never even meet their perfect partner—let alone attract them and make them happy for a lifetime. Here's how to make sure you don't miss out on the most significant relationship you'll ever have.

Continue reading →

How to Maintain Healthy Social Boundaries

(The Power of Saying No)

The main reason you struggle to say "no" is fear of what will happen if you do. But have you ever seen things going badly for someone who has their boundaries dialled in? Me neither. Here's how to value your time properly and take it back (before you run out of it altogether)...

Continue reading →